Armpit rash causes, symptoms, and home remedies

By: Dr. Victor Marchione | Skin Health | Thursday, June 09, 2016 - 02:30 PM

armpit rash An armpit rash is a change in the skin under the arm that impacts the color and texture of the underarm. When you have an armpit rash, it can be uncomfortable, unsightly, and embarrassing, but in many cases home remedies can provide relief.

People of all ages can experience armpit rash. The symptoms of the rash can vary depending on the person and the cause. Some people have armpit rashes that come and go quickly, while others have rashes in the underarm area that just won’t go away.

Rash is a condition that causes the affected skin to turn red, blotchy, and to even swell in some cases. While rashes vary in location, pattern, and extent, an armpit rash can be an indication that something is irritating that specific area or it could be a sign of a body-wide condition.

Many armpit rashes can be itchy and difficult to ignore or hide so it’s important to figure out what is causing the problem and how to address it.

Types and symptoms of armpit rash

In most cases, red blotches appear to indicate that you have a rash. In some situations, small red bumps or white bumps will also appear on the skin along with red patches. Some of the other common symptoms of armpit rash are:

  • Itchiness
  • Bruising
  • Pus
  • Warmth or swelling
  • Tenderness or pain

Other symptoms may occur along with the rash and could be related to a bigger issue that is happening within the body. Cough, fever and chills, headache, joint stiffness, and sore throat are signs that something more than just a rash may be involved.

A person should seek immediate medical attention if they have a rash and have a change in consciousness, have difficulty breathing, feel tightness or constriction in the throat, experience sudden swelling of the face, lips, or tongue, and if they observe worsening of symptoms despite treating the rash.

Eczema is a common condition that produces an itchy, crusty rash. It is commonly found in the body folds like armpits. Since the rash is very itchy and people can’t resist scratching, bleeding can occur. Another skin irritation called seborrheic dermatitis, which creates oily patches of flakes and is also itchy, can show up on the armpits. A good example of this is cradle cap in infants – it is a form of seborrheic dermatitis. Lastly, there is contact dermatitis. This is a common rash that happens when a person comes in contact with an allergen or irritant.

What are causes of armpit rash?

natural-remedies-for-eczemaThe causes of armpit rash are vast. This can make a quick diagnosis hard at times. Some people are able to determine what led to the itchy, painful red blotches on their own, while others need to seek medical advice.

Here’s a quick look at some of the more common causes of armpit rash:

  • Contact dermatitis – allergy to agents such as cosmetics, dyes, or detergents
  • Industrial chemical allergies – including elastic, rubber, or latex
  • Reaction to metal – copper, wire
  • Poison ivy or oak
  • Eczema
  • Folliculitis – inflammation of hair follicles that happens after shaving
  • Food allergies
  • Insect bite allergy
  • Candida – yeast infection due to poor hygiene

An underarm rash can also be caused by the following infections:

In certain circumstances, the rash can be caused by acne, extreme cold, extreme heat, or medications. While these situations are not life threatening, there are some cases where rash may be a symptom of a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. For instance, someone who is experiencing a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) needs to get to the emergency department. It is a matter of life and death. There is also a condition called allergic purpura that requires serious attention. Allergic purpura is a skin disease that impacts the organs. Mostly affecting children, allergic purpura causes small hemorrhages and comes with joint and abdominal pain, as well as kidney problems.

Home remedies to heal armpit rash

The majority of armpit rashes are certainly nothing to panic about. Armpit rash home treatment remedies are known to clear up the irritating and unsightly signs and symptoms for many people.

Let’s take a look at some armpit rash treatments for different scenarios.

  • Folliculitis – stop shaving and try waxing or using hair removal agent until the rash clears.
  • Contact dermatitis – avoid using detergents, deodorants, soaps, etc. that irritate your skin. Wipe a slice of lemon on your underarm as a natural deodorant.
  • Candida – practice good hygiene to avoid a fungal infection. Wipe properly under the arms after showering.
  • Poison ivy or oak – rinse skin in warm water to remove plant oil, also clean clothing or objects that may have come in contact with the plant.
  • Food allergies – avoid eating or even touching the food that you discover you are allergic to.
  • Insect bite allergy – apply ice, elevate arm to reduce swelling, apply calamine lotion, or go to the emergency room if reaction is severe.

There are a number of home remedies for armpit rash that you can try should you find yourself in a situation where your underarm is red, itchy, and irritated. If one doesn’t work, try another method. The following list includes some of the most widely used home remedies for armpit rashes.

  • Aloe vera – leave on for a few minutes, then remove with cold water.
  • Baking soda – you can put it in your bath water or directly on the armpit.
  • Ice – placing it directly on the rash for a few minutes may help eliminate itchiness.
  • Vitamin E – massage a little Vitamin E oil into the skin to help with itchiness and help promote production of new skin cells.
  • Coconut oil – mix the oil with baking soda to form a paste and put it directly on the rash. Leave it for about 5 minutes.
  • Potassium alum – place powder directly on armpits as it contains antiseptic properties to ward off bacteria and can help with the itching.
  • Tea tree oil – dip a cotton ball in a mixture of water and tea tree oil, and apply it directly to the rash.

As you can see, there are many reasons a person can get an armpit rash and many ways to go about treating it. If you ever get an armpit rash. it is useful to know that the vast majority of these rashes are due to irritants of some sort. This means avoiding certain care products, such as deodorants, soaps, detergents, or avoiding solvents and airborne substances like sawdust and wool dust can prevent you from having a repeat rash.

Once you can pinpointed the cause of your armpit irritation, treating and preventing it is a lot easier. Remember though, if you have a severe rash, see a doctor instead of taking matters into your own hands.


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